There is a simple trick to enable the emoji keyboard on your iPhone. This trick has been around for a few days but for some reason, I never wrote about it. Loyal reader David emailed me earlier today and reminded me of this.

1. Install Spell Number from the App Store (it’s a free app)

2. Launch the app and type 91929394.59

3. Press the home button

4. Go to Settings > General > Keyboards, and under “Japanese” select “Emoji”

You can now use these crazy little japanese icons. Note that you can delete the app if you don’t want to keep it. Your Emoji keyboard will still be activated.

  • David

    Yay! I’m famous! πŸ˜€

  • Vista USER !

    thanks for the Tip Sebastien ! Worked Great !

  • Wow, that’s awesome. Unfortunately, I just paid $0.99 for Emoji icon app.

  • Laurnzo

    Thanks a lot man, that’s awesome.

  • manofsteel1982

    I found I had to press enter after typing in the number before pressing home and enabling the keyboard. Just thought I would add this in case anyone has trouble enabling this. πŸ™‚

  • rain

    i have an iphone 3g and i tried txing my friend on his iphone 2g and it does not work. only on 3g.

  • jim

    tried on my iPhone 2G 3.0 and works like a charm, thanks!

  • Rehan

    It works in the fact that you do get the emoji icons, however on my iPhone 3GS running 3.0, the “delete” button and the return to normal keyboard button are both missing.

    The bottom left and bottom right buttons do not show up properly and just look like gray squares. They do work when you tap them, they just don’t show up as the buttons.

    Does anyone have a fix for this? Thanks.

    • @Rehan: I’ve read that it’s a problem with Winterboard.

      • Rehan

        Thanks for the response parry!

        You’re right! I turned off Winterboard and it works fine again. Know of any fix to this while keeping WB running?

        Thank you!

      • A friend informed me of the following fix, only downside to it is that for example if you have themed your SMS bubbles you will have to sacrifice them as the fix means only the Springboard can be themed.

        Here is a link to the reply:

  • lmao ! this is nicee !

  • Sophia

    I don’t know what i’m doing wrong… I can’t get it to work! Please somebody help?

    • What problem are you having?

  • Voo

    Also having a strange problem, got the app installed and i’m seeing all emotes, but when I press one it won’t add too the text file. πŸ™ Help plz….using jailbreaked 3gs with winterboard installed.

  • Cdizzle

    I love you.

  • Cypher1

    If we sent 1 of these icons to a friend that does not have an iPhone, will she/he be able to see it or is this emoji icons just for iphone users?

  • henrik ohm eriksen

    Top Tip – should come on the first google page when searching for emoticons πŸ˜€

  • @Cypher1 Your friend has to have Emoji enables on his phone for him to see the character. Or else he will just see a strange character that doesn’t mean anything.

  • Bill

    Can I enable emoji on my pc? I tried to send wife email and all she saw was strange caracters w no meanings.

  • Andrew

    You don’t need the app to do this just go to the keyboad setting and add it. Also in the 4.0 SDK emoji is it’s own keyboad you don’t need to use the Japanese one. ξ—ξξŠξ„ξ„…ξŽξ•ξ˜ξ—ξ˜ξŠξ‰ξ‚ξξ„‹ξξ”―ξΎξ”€ξ”±ξŒξ’ξ”¬ξ‹ξ‘ƒξ”§ξ”₯ξ„Šξ”‘ξ” ξ”£ξ”°ξ” ξ‘‡ξŒˆξ„™ξŒ‡ξŒ…ξ‘ˆξ‘‚ξ€³ξŒ’ξ„—ξ‘†ξΈξΉξ„¨ξ…ξ…‹ξ…ξŒ–ξ…ξ€ŠξŒξ„ƒξ€”ξ€±ξ€•ξŒŽξ„ŸξŒŽ

  • T-Mizzle

    This is CUTE! I love it! Thanks!

  • Atony

    Its not workn for me??

  • Jay

    I can receive the emoji cons from my sister’s iPhone 4 but when I send it from my iPhone 3g to her phone or my friends phone (who has a 3gs), they are not able too see my emojicons. I can easily place them on te screen and choose from 500 of them but they end up showing up as jibberish on there phones. I havent updated my os so i am still running on the original os on the phone, 2.0 or is it 3.0, I don’t remember but does it matter? HELP please!!


  • Murveen

    You can download “Emoji Free!” open the application, click “Let’s do this”, go to general settings, keyboard and choose “Emoji” and you have it! Application is free! Works for me!

  • Sergio


    6 months trying and no response. I wasn’t able tro activate it and didnt knew you have to activate it in the sistem menu.

    Thaks from Spain
    Gracias por la ayuda.

  • rmg

    I only have Japanese Romaji and Japanese Ten Key to choose from. Anyone else having trouble? Thanks.

  • lyndsey

    I had the same problem as most of the other 3G users, I downloaded the $.99 Emoji App. and followed the instructions for installing but only saw teh Japanese Romaji and Ten Key keyboard. Then after reading this forum found the “fix” that says to install Spell Number, that didn’t work either BUT I did see the Emoji Free Application when I was choosing Spell Number so I installed that and now I have the keyboard installed. It’s not required that you pay for Emoji first so just download the free Emoji application and follow the instructions they work perfectly.

  • Cindy

    thank you lyndsey!

  • Spell # isn’t working either plain Japanese doesn’t come up so I can choose emogi setting!